Weis Markets

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Weis Markets, Inc.
Formerly
  • Weis Pure Foods (1912-1933)
TypePublic
NYSEWMK
Russell 2000 Index component
IndustryRetail grocery
Founded1912; 110 years ago (1912) (Sunbury, Pennsylvania)
FoundersHarry and Sigmund Weis
HeadquartersSunbury, Pennsylvania
Number of locations
196
Areas served
Key people
Jonathan Weis, chairman, president and CEO
ProductsBakery, delicatessen, seafood, meat, produce, snacks, drinks, frozen foods, health & beauty, general merchandise, pharmacy [1]
RevenueIncrease US$3,543.3 Million (2020)[2]
Decrease US$76.4 million (2017)[2]
Increase US$98.4 million (2017)[2]
Total assetsIncrease US$1. 441 million (2017)[2]
Total equityIncrease US$992.8 million (2017)[2]
OwnerWeis Family (65%)
Number of employees
23,000[3] (2017)
Websitewww.weismarkets.com

Weis Markets, Inc. (/wz/ doing business as Weis and stylized as weis) is a Mid-Atlantic food retailer based in Sunbury, Pennsylvania,[4] It currently operates 196 stores with over 23,000 employees in Pennsylvania, Maryland, New York, New Jersey, West Virginia, Virginia, and Delaware.[2] As of December 2017, The Weis family owns 65% of the company stock which has been listed on NYSE since 1965.

History[edit]

Map of Weis stores (as of 2011).

Weis Markets was founded as Weis Pure Foods in 1912 in Sunbury, Pennsylvania, by two brothers, Harry and Sigmund Weis.[2] Their store has been noted as "revolutionary", as it did not operate on credit; sales were only for cash. At the time, similar stores operated on credit, allowing customers to build a tab that would be paid periodically. Cash sales were a sign of a growing working class earning steady paychecks, and they also helped lower prices by up to 25%.

The second Weis store opened in 1915 in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Harrisburg would remain an important market for Weis, helping to anchor the central Pennsylvania region that Weis would dominate for decades.

The Weis brothers expanded their chain rapidly, opening dozens of small, in-town grocery stores throughout central Pennsylvania. Their chain peaked at 115 stores in 15 central Pennsylvania counties by 1933. As the supermarket industry shifted to larger, self-service stores, Weis adapted the format of its stores. The company closed several corner grocery stores in Harrisburg in 1938, replacing them with their first self-service, consolidated supermarket. Over the next two decades, the company continued with this strategy, and it had consolidated all of its corner grocery stores into supermarkets, with 35 stores by 1955. In newspaper ads of the 1940s, Weis referred to its stores first as Weis Super Markets,[5] then Weis Self-Service Markets,[6] and finally Weis Markets.[7]

In the 1950s and 1960s, Weis expanded its reach, first to York and then Lancaster by 1960. Weis expanded to Maryland in July 1967, opening its first non-Pennsylvania store in Hagerstown,[8] followed by a store in Frederick in August[9] Its first store in the Wilkes-Barre area opened in 1967.[10] In November 1967, the company purchased the five-store Albany Public Markets chain based in Albany, New York, in an all-cash transaction. It operated Albany Public Markets as a subsidiary, keeping the company's management team intact.[11] Weis closed its Albany Public Markets chain in October 1986, leasing the nine stores to Grand Union.[12]

Weis also expanded to western Pennsylvania, opening stores as far west as Altoona, Everett, and Philipsburg, and expanded throughout northeastern Pennsylvania. The company purchased two regional chains in the Poconos and Lehigh Valley region: Mr. Z's, a 14-store chain of IGA supermarkets, in 1992,[13] and King's, a six-store chain based in Hamburg, in 1994.[14][15] Mr. Z's and King's were operated under separate banners for years before all stores were re-branded as Weis. The westernmost extent of Weis's expansion is along old route 220 with the two stores in Altoona, one on 7th street and one in Park Hills.

Weis's expansion into the Baltimore, Maryland market was successful, but its expansions into the Washington, D.C. market were less successful. Weis opened stores in suburban Washington, D.C. and northern Virginia before retreating from that market, first closing most of its stores in Montgomery County, Maryland, and finally closing all stores in Virginia.

Weis also expanded into northern New Jersey, beginning with a store opened in Newton in 1992.[13] In 2000, another store opened in Flanders; it closed in 2002, two years after its opening. Weis re-entered Flanders in 2014, in a former A&P store adjacent to the location of its first Flanders store.[16] On July 19, 2018 Weis Markets opened a second store in Morris County NJ in the town of Randolph (where a former A&P used to operate before A&P's bankruptcy in 2015).[17]

In 2009, Weis expanded into the Southern Tier of New York with the acquisition of the 11-store Giant Markets chain.[18] Weis closed one former Giant Market in Binghamton in 2012, along with two others in 2014. Eight former Giant Markets continue to operate.[19]

Weis Markets location in Fredericksburg, Virginia, formerly a Food Lion. This location closed in September 2020

Eastern expansion continued in 2012 as Weis acquired three former Genuardi's stores from Safeway, in the Philadelphia suburbs of Conshohocken, Doylestown and Norristown, on June 16. A former Superfresh store in Towson, Maryland, opened as a Weis in 2012. Weis entered central New Jersey with the purchase of a former Pathmark store in Hillsborough in August 2013. In November 2013, Weis opened its closest store to Philadelphia after acquiring a former Pathmark store in Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania. In July 2015, Weis purchased the location and assets of Nell's Shur-fine Market from C&S Wholesale Grocers in Penn Township, York County, Pennsylvania and followed that up in October 2016 with the purchase of a second Nell's location in East Berlin, Pennsylvania.[20][21]

In May 2016, Weis Markets announced the purchase of five stores from Mars in Baltimore County, Maryland, after that chain announced it was closing all its stores.[22] In July 2016, it was announced that Weis Markets entered into a purchase agreement with Ahold and Delhaize Group for 38 Food Lion locations in Delaware, Maryland and Virginia as part of the divestiture of stores to gain clearance from the Federal Trade Commission for the impending Ahold/Delhaize merger.[23] On October 5, 2016, Weis announced the purchase of Nell's Shur-fine Market in East Berlin, PA from C&S Wholesale Grocers.[24] The company completed the acquisition and conversion of the 44 stores in early November 2016.

On March 9, 2017, Weis Markets opened a 65,000-square-foot (6,039 m2) store in Hampden Township, Pennsylvania, that features a pub, ice cream parlor, expanded takeout food selection, a drive-thru pharmacy, and a beer cafe selling 900 varieties of beer and 500 varieties of wine.[25] In late September 2019, Weis acquired two Thomas' Food Market stores, one in Dallas, Pennsylvania and another in Shavertown, Pennsylvania, reopening the Dallas location under the Weis banner and closing the Shavertown location.[26]

Legal case[edit]

The Weis supermarket located in Park Hills Plaza along U.S. Route 220 in Altoona, Pennsylvania, was the subject of a key 1960s United States Supreme Court case concerning the "public forum doctrine." The Court held that a union picket in the supermarket parcel pickup area and parking lot was permissible because the "shopping center here is clearly the functional equivalent to the business district" of a city.[27] At the time of the picketing, the Weis store was located in Logan Valley Mall, the Park Hills Plaza was not built until the mid-1970s, at which time Weis moved across U.S. Route 220 to its current location.

Banners[edit]

In addition to the Weis Markets banner, the company once operated supermarkets under the King's and Mr. Z's banners. Those two banners were centered primarily in the Lehigh Valley and the Poconos, respectively, and were acquired in 1993 (Mr.Z's) and 1994 (King's).[28][29] Since their acquisitions, these stores have been remodeled or replaced. In 2009, they were rebranded to the Weis banner, as was its Cressler's store in Shippensburg. In 2011, it converted its three Scot's Lo-Cost stores, a warehouse store concept, located in Montoursville, Mill Hall, and Coal Township, to the Weis banner.[29]

At one time, the company operated a few stores as Big-Top Market, but as of 2006, no more stores exist under this banner.

Competition[edit]

Weis Markets location in Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania

Weis faces significant competition from various food retail formats, including conventional retailers, mass merchant retailers, discount retailers, drug stores, convenience stores, Walmart and dollar stores. Weis's chief competition comes in its traditional home base of central Pennsylvania. Giant (Carlisle) (in some areas referred to as Martin's), a supermarket chain owned by Ahold, began aggressive expansion during the 1990s, building large stores with expanded selections. Giant/Martin's has remained the market leader throughout central and northeastern Pennsylvania.

At Pennsylvania locations in Blair and Bedford counties, Weis directly competes with Pittsburgh-based Giant Eagle.

Weis also faces tough competition in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, from Stauffer's of Kissel Hill.

In the suburban Philadelphia area, Weis competes with Giant (Carlisle), Acme, ShopRite, and Wegmans.

In Maryland, Weis competes with Walmart, Acme, Food Lion, Wegmans, Harris Teeter, Safeway, ShopRite and Giant (Landover). In the Frederick area Weis also competes with Giant Eagle.

In New Jersey, Weis's chief competition includes ShopRite, Stop & Shop and Acme.

In New York, Weis's competition includes Price Chopper and Wegmans.

Private brand labels[edit]

Weis Markets sells a variety of house brands under the following private brand labels:

  • Weis Quality (Advertised as equivalent to national brands)
  • Weis Organic (Organic Fruits and Vegetables)
  • Weis Signature (Premium)
  • Weis Quality Premium Meats (Deli Meat)
  • Paws Premium (Dog food)
  • TopCare (Health and Beauty Care Products)
  • Full Circle (Fair-Trade Certified food)
  • Weis 360 (Organic staples such as oatmeal and bread)
  • Weis Simply Great

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Weis.com - Online Shopping". Archived from the original on 2002-10-04.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "Weis Markets | 2021 Fortune 500".
  3. ^ "Weis Markets". Fortune. Retrieved 2019-02-11.
  4. ^ "Contact Us." (Archive) Weis Markets. Retrieved on August 26, 2016. "1000 South Second Street PO Box 471 Sunbury, Pennsylvania 17801"
  5. ^ Advertisement, Harrisburg Telegraph, 6 March 1941
  6. ^ Advertisement, Harrisburg Telegraph, 22 August 1946
  7. ^ Advertisement, The Express (Lock Haven, Pennsylvania), 9 December 1949
  8. ^ "Weis Markets Sales, Earnings Show Increases," The News (Frederick, Maryland), 18 Jul 1967
  9. ^ "Weis Markets Opens 2d Store in Maryland," Pottstown Mercury, 23 Aug 1967.
  10. ^ "To Build Market," The News (Frederick, Maryland), 24 Oct 1967)
  11. ^ "Weis Buys N.Y. Chain," The Express (Lock Haven, Pennsylvania), 8 Nov 1967)
  12. ^ "Schenectady Gazette - Google News Archive Search". news.google.com. Retrieved 24 October 2017.
  13. ^ a b "Weis Markets to Buy IGA Stores," Standard-Speaker (Hazleton, Pennsylvania), 28 November 1992
  14. ^ "Weis Markets Inc. to Buy King's Supermarkets," Gettysburg Times, 29 June 1994
  15. ^ "Weis Buys King's Six Markets". Retrieved 24 October 2017.
  16. ^ "Weis market work to begin in Mount Olive". Retrieved 24 October 2017.
  17. ^ "WEIS MARKETS OPENS NEW STORE IN RANDOLPH, NJ | Weis Markets". www.weismarkets.com. Retrieved 2020-06-18.
  18. ^ Laepple, Wayne. "Weis Markets buys 11 stores". www.dailyitem.com. Retrieved 25 August 2009.
  19. ^ Joseph, Bob. "Closing Time For Two Broome Weis Markets Stores". www.wnbf.com. Retrieved 17 July 2014.
  20. ^ Jurgensen, Davin (July 29, 2015). "Weis Markets purchasing Nell's Shur-fine Market". York Daily Record. Retrieved October 19, 2016.
  21. ^ Sholtis, Brett (October 19, 2015). "Weis to buy Nell's Family Market in East Berlin". York Daily Record. Retrieved October 19, 2016.
  22. ^ Mirabella, Lorraine (May 26, 2016). "Mars Super Markets closed all stores on July 31". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved May 29, 2016.
  23. ^ "Ahold and Delhaize Group reach agreements with buyers to divest 86 U.S. stores, subject to FTC merger clearance". Food Lion. Retrieved July 13, 2016.
  24. ^ Sholtis, Brett (6 October 2016). "Weis to buy Nell's Family Market in East Berlin". York Daily Record. Retrieved 24 June 2021.
  25. ^ Gleiter, Sue (March 3, 2017). "Here's a sneak peek of the new Weis Markets store opening in Cumberland County". PennLive.com. Retrieved March 17, 2017.
  26. ^ Leader, Times (2019-09-30). "Weis acquires Thomas' Food Market stores in Dallas, Shavertown". Times Leader. Retrieved 2020-02-11.
  27. ^ Amalgamated Food Employees Union v. Logan Valley Plaza, Inc., 391 U.S. 308 (1968).
  28. ^ Shope, Dan (June 26, 1994). "WEIS BUYS KING'S SIX MARKETS". The Morning Call. Retrieved February 11, 2020.
  29. ^ a b Zwiebach, Elliot (April 25, 1994). "WEIS TO CONSTRUCT 10 NEW STORES". Supermarket News.
  • DeKok, David. "The Weis Dynasty." The Patriot-News, February 20, 1994.
  • Southall, Brook. "Old-Line Weis Plans Basket of Changes." Central Penn Business Journal, June 14, 1996.
  • Weis Markets Annual Report, 1967 [1]

External links[edit]